I didn't know what to expect when I got this book. I saw it and kept passing it but every time I went back to NetGalley it was like it said "read me, won't you?" So, finally I figured what the heck.
O.M.G. Let me start by saying this isn't for the faint of heart. It says it's got BDSM and it sort of does, but it's super light. There's just one whipping scene, and there isn't a whole lot of description other than the lashes cutting her back and the blood Stella feels is starting to drip. In my book, that's pretty light BDSM compared to other books I've read.
Anyway, the story begins with Stella hoping her dad doesn't go to jail. But her dad's chances of not being convicted are minimal to none. The DA a.k.a. Sinclair Vinemont, has about 20 witnesses all there to testify how her dad stole their money. Still, Stella doesn't believe her dad is guilty of the crimes he's being accused of.
She wants to feel nothing but hate for Sinclair, only every time he looks at her, his searing gaze gets the best of her. Luckily for her the judge states he needs time to think about the ruling of her dad's case, and she feels relieved. That lasts until Sinclair shows up at her house and with a contract no less.
The deal he offers her in return for her dad's freedom is to sign a one-year contract where she accepts to be his slave. She declines of course, but then seeing that she has no other recourse to save her dad from jail she finds herself at Sinclair's doorstep and ensures he will keep his word.
Stella thinks she can handle a year until the enormity of the wrong decision she made sinks in. Sinclair doesn't want to get close to her, and he doesn't want to be mean and do any of the things he has to do to her but he must. He must be the winner and new Sovereign of the elite. The attraction between Stella and Sinclair can't be ignored. They give into it, damn the consequences. Stella talks herself into being able to do this slave thing, but just when she thinks she can do it she begins to see she's only a piece of the game and competition Sinclair is playing. She thinks the whipping she got is it until a woman who keeps her company in Sinclair's house tells her about what happens in fall, spring, and summer. As if that weren't enough Stella discovers her dad isn't who she's always thought him to be.
This book is sick as in good. It ends in a cliffhanger and I hope Stella doesn't sleep with Lucius. If she does, it'd be weird because she's falling for Sinclair, who's Lucius brother. Also, just knowing that the competition for Sovereign is still running and that what's coming up next is worst than the whipping she got I'm already anxious to see what happens. The one thing that bothered me was that the author forgot the condoms. There was no talk of either of them being clean or Stella being on the pill. Unless that was part of the contract that's mentioned several times and signed but no details are provided other than it a) lasts a full year b) Sinclair can do with her whatever he wants c) her dad won't go to jail. Still. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would.